Posted on December 10, 2012 · Posted in Roosevelt House General News, Tisch Legacy Project News

Fourteen nurse leaders and graduate nursing students from Hunter College and CUNY joined Drs. Gail McCain and Sue Atkinson in a breakfast with Dame Christine Beasley, the former Chief Nurse Officer of England, at the Roosevelt House on December 7, 2012. Dame Beasley was joined by her colleauge Dr. Geraldine Walters, Chief Nurse Officer at Kings College Hospital in London. The event was sponsored by Roosevelt House, the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, and the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College.

Dame Beasley spoke about the evolution of the National Health Service in the UK, which will mark its 65th anniversary in 2013. She spoke about the shift from an almost exclusive focus on financial aspects of the NHS to one that emphasizes quality and safety within a financial context, after public exposure of high rates of hospital-acquired infections. “Care and compassion” became watch words when the media highlighted episodes of poor nursing care of older adults. She pointed out that the focus on quality and safety has “exploded the role of nurses.”

The enactment of the Health and Social Care Act in 2012 is privatizing some services and may be fragmenting care. Dame Beasley discussed the political context of such changes in the NHS in the past three decades, as well as the implications for nursing, medicine, healthcare quality and safety.
A lively discussion followed on long-term care, the role of “health visitors, and other relevant issues.

The breakfast was followed by a taped radio interview of Dame Beasley and Drs. Atkinson and Walters for Healthstyles, the radio program produced by Dr. Diana Mason and Barbara Glickstein for the Center for Health, Media & Policy, to be aired later in December.

Sue Atkinson, CBE BSc MB BChir MA FFPH, is the Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health at Roosevelt House – an annual appointment of a prominent health care professional with real-world public policy experience.  Fellows teach undergraduate and graduate students, conducts faculty seminars, and serves as a scholar-in-residence in the Hunter Community.  For more information about the Joan H. Tisch Legacy Project and the Fellowship, visit the Joan H. Tisch Legacy Project website.